Phone For Hackers Launches A Crowdfunding Campaign

Based on the WiFi / Bluetooth wunderchip, clad in a polycarbonate frame, and looking like something that would be an amazing cell phone for 2005, the WiPhone is now available on Kickstarter.

We’ve seen the WiPhone before, and it’s an interesting set of features for what is effectively an ESP32 board with some buttons and a screen. It’s become something of a platform, with expansion daughterboards for LTE, LoRa, a camera, a Bus Pirate, and a programmable NFC/RFID doohickey. If you’ve longed for the day of big ‘ol Nokia brick phones, want to hack your phone, but don’t really care about actually having cellular connectivity, this is something that’s right up your alley.

Although the WiPhone looks like a usable product that was designed by someone with a sense of design, it still is Open Source. You can build your own, and there are dozens of expansion boards that will plug into the back of the WiPhone for prototyping, experimentation, and RGB Gaming LEDs. There’s no cellular modem on the WiPhone, though; for calls you’ll have to turn to SIP or VoIP apps.

Considering how difficult it is to source a cellular modem in small quantities and the desire for a cell phone that respects your Right to Repair, we’ve got to hand it to the WiPhone for creating something people want. It gets even better when you consider this looks more like a product than the 3D printed pieces of electronic cruft we usually see, and we’re happy to see this crowdfunding campaign just passed its goal and is completely funded.

26 thoughts on “Phone For Hackers Launches A Crowdfunding Campaign

  1. It looks like it’s not really open source yet. I can’t find anything, and their hackaday.io page says it’s a ‘planned feature’. Also, why do you think they didn’t go for a type-C port?

      1. If it’s anything like their mail service I assume the rock people’s elbows each item passing through customs.

        They once bent a 100x20x10mm slab of titanium I sent.

        TITANIUM 1cm thick. They bent it.

        1. My company shipped a machine and huge chiller to GB. Customer received it with a 6″ hole in the side of the wet chiller crate. The morons just took a big hole saw to the side of the crate to take a peek. Went right into the chiller air filter, wrapped it up and destroyed the side panel. And then kept going right into coolant lines. All that instead of just removing MARKED screws in the crate side. Customs is always bottom of the barrel.

  2. I’m thinking what privacy? So fare there s no mention of a vpn client. Also no p2p calls as in on the same wifi network so when at say home no traffic leaves your network. Otherwise it s trivial to collect traffic and replay.

    1. It will use VOIP, so the traffic will be encapsulated on TLS. It’s not peer2peer calls.

      And this phone will give you way more privacy than any Android or iPhone out there.

  3. “This means that there is no required service contract – and it’s yours for life.”

    …. because it doesn’t even have a cell modem. That’s like saying a feature of buying a candy bar is that you don’t have to go into debt buying it like you do a car. What a brain dead selling point.

    1. If you unleash the maker in you, you could add a kind of mid-back-plain with a nice fat battery to add all the power storage you want and make those lights last forever. You could add an additional power source if you wanted like a fuel cell system or even go full diesel-punk and a tiny gas powered motor and generator in that mid-back-plain. …but I regress… You could still just add a nice phat battery. :-)

  4. I think this would make a good pocket scope and signal generator. Don’t need high accuracy, just to see a few hundred kHz at most to check slow signals and some PWM. At least then it would be my fault if it turned out to be crap. I got a Mooshimeter and was severely disappointed that a device touted as a scope would have such terrible scope functionality. At least for Android. Time to DIY.

    1. Congratulations! :) Reading and critical thinking achievement unlocked!!!!

      The WiPhone is less of a phone and more of a tool to enable hacking on things we aren’t normally allowed to try with phones.

      1. It is nice to have the phone “gimmick”, though. You can get overly distracted by a smart phone. I would love to have a DMM/function generator in my pocket for debugging panels at work and if it could take calls then I could leave my distracting smart phone at my desk. Too many of us walk around like zombies and I hate stuffing too many devices in my pockets.

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